IL-15 and IL-2 possess similar properties, including the ability to induce T cell proliferation. However, whereas IL-2 can promote apoptosis and limit CD8+ memory T cell survival and proliferation, IL-15 helps maintain a memory CD8+ T cell population and can inhibit apoptosis. We sought to determine whether IL-15 could enhance the in vivo function of tumor/self-reactive CD8+ T cells by using a T cell receptor transgenic mouse (pmel-1) whose CD8+ T cells recognize an epitope derived from the self/melanoma antigen gp100. By removing endogenous IL-15 by using tumor-bearing IL-15 knockout hosts or supplementing IL-15 by means of exogenous administration, as a component of culture media or as a transgene expressed by adoptively transferred T cells, we demonstrate that IL-15 can improve the in vivo antitumor activity of adoptively transferred CD8 + T cells. These results provide several avenues for improving adoptive immunotherapy of cancer in patients.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Feb 17 2004|
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